Simpson Desert Crossing on a 690.

Discussion in 'Australia' started by gjws, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    Hi all,

    A mate and I are in the final planning stages for a May crossing of the Simpson. We will both be on 690's and at this stage plan on trailering the bikes from Melbourne to Hawker or Leigh Creek, as I hate riding on Bitumen. We'll then leave the car and trailer at the caravan park, unload the bikes and head off for the fun part.

    The (current) planned route.

    Hawker.
    Marree.
    Mungerannie.
    Birdsville.
    Poeppel Corner.
    Dalhousie Springs.
    Mt Dare.
    Oodnadatta.
    William Creek.
    Marree.
    Flinders Rangers.
    Hawker.

    I've got a couple of question related to fuel that I'm hoping others can sanity check for me please.

    First, from my research I was planning on carrying around 45 liters of fuel for the actual Simpson crossing, filling up at Birdsville then re-filling at Mt Dare. People seem to be doing it with somewhere between 35 and 40 liters but that's mostly based on DR's, I've not seen any figures on the 690's. Water, around 15 liters. We'd like to spend 2 nights camping in the desert so the plan is for a (leisurely?) 3 days ~500km crossing.

    Do my fuel and water figures seem reasonable? I sure as hell don't want to run out, but I'd also like to avoid carrying any unnecessary weight as well.

    Next I need to work out where fuel is available on the loop I have planned. I'm planning on the following stops for fuel:

    Hawker.
    Marree.
    Mungerannie.
    Birdsville.
    Mount Dare.
    Oodnadatta.
    William Creek.
    Marree.

    Am I right in my assumption that unleaded is available at all of these location? If so it seems like fuel is reasonably easy to attain everywhere except in the middle of the Simpson :)

    Thanks very much everyone.
    #1
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  2. poppy

    poppy Slow and Steady

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    Not sure about the fuel at Hawker not been there but the rest is good. Looks like your on the money with your research.
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  3. allan11

    allan11 Long timer

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    coward springs is a good place to stop on your way back.. nice little camp area and hot spring spa.. there is and old heritage museum build there as well.
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  4. DOREY76

    DOREY76 Been here awhile

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    Can't comment on the fuel usage for the 690 Dicko could definitely help there.
    I used 49L on the 950 & 15L of water with 2 nights in the desert (Carried 63L of fuel & 15L of water). Next time I'll carry 55L fuel, up it to 17L of water & extra Hydralites.
    Who knows, might cross paths in May?
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  5. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Hawker had fuel when I was there middle of last year. My Dr used near the 45ltrs I had and 12lt of water was not enough, I lost 2 along the way. Use smaller containers in case you spring a leak or loose some.
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  6. enookway

    enookway Are we having fun yet?

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    So Mt Dare Birdsville is close enough to 500km.
    45 litres equates to around 11 to 12 km/l (9 l/100) for a carbed thumper.
    Are fuel injected things getting much better (ie 14 to 16 km/l). Any experience with injected enduro bikes lightly loaded (ie 500EXC).
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  7. hoorang

    hoorang Rather be riding than working

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    '13 FE501 used 32L to do 612kms from Birdsville to Mt Dare going via French and some of WAA. I carried 45L fuel and 14L water, I'll take 40L next time and 15L water.

    Edit: I wasn't lightly loaded either and we crossed in 15hrs riding time.
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  8. darren70

    darren70 I don't own a KTM

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    I rode my 690 across the Simpson twice in the last two years and used about 37l each time. I would want to start with about 45 to give you a bit of fat so you look good there . I set off with 3x 4l msr Dromedary bladders and two liters in my camel back each time. First time i left Mt dare about midday and had two nights in the desert and arrived at birdsville about 2 with about 7l left. Last year i left early and had one night in the desert and got into birdsville about midday and had 2 full bladders and a bit in my camelback when i arrived.
    Hope that helps
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  9. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    Thanks very much to everyone for your input.

    daren70, you're the second 690 owner I've heard from and both have used 37 litres.

    Looks like 45 should be fine, and I'll bump the water to 15 liters as well. Man, 60kgs total for fluids, that's going to take some planning :)

    Fuel:
    690 main tank - 12L
    Rade Garage aux tank - 6L
    Rotopax 1 - 7.5L
    Rotopax 2 - 7.5L
    Fuel Bladder - 10L
    4 x 1.5L fuel bottles - 6L

    Total of 49 liters so I'll only partially fill the bladder and the rotopax rather than fill to the brim.

    Water:

    MSR Dromedary 1 - 6L (10L capacity, partial fill)
    MSR Dromedary 2 - 6L (10L capacity, partial fill)
    Camelbak - 3L

    Total of 15 liters of water.
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  10. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    Not quite that bad. Fuel is only around the 750g/l mark depending on your poison.
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  11. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    From a very small sample size (2!) we can extrapolate that a fuel injected 690 will cross the simpson with an average of 7.33 liters per 100 kilometers. Obviously there are many, many variable here, but it's a place to start.
    #11
  12. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    That's a 10kg saving on 43 liters, good to know thanks bigborett!
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  13. darren70

    darren70 I don't own a KTM

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    It could be worse, imagine if you had to use fuel with lead in it.....


    Something to consider is how you distribute the load. All the weight on the back makes it hard so i use a wolfman tank bag and use it to carry all my tools and spares and this spreads a bit of weight forward. When loading the back try and keep the heavy stuff low and forward too.
    It is going to be different to ride so my biggest bit of advice is ' change to suit your environment, dont try and change your environment to suit you'.
    You will be fine
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  14. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    Thanks mate, I really appreciate all the advice I receive.

    I've got a wolfman tank bag on the bike now and have a set of wolfman tank panniers on order as well, so I'll be able to cram quite a bit in there. I've also got the front fender bag off my enduro that will hold the spare UHD tubes which are not light either.
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  15. a2zworks

    a2zworks Want to be a better rider

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    I’m only a little fella at 5’7” or 170 tall and found that tank panniers get in the way of my knees on the 690.
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  16. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Water is 1000g/l (or 1kg/l).
    Being lazy, I use 0.8 kg/l for fuel.
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  17. gjws

    gjws Been here awhile

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    Then I may have a set of tank panniers for sale soon after they arrive :)

    Good to know, thanks mate. I really should be standing most of the time in the desert so perhaps I'll throw them on for the crossing to keep some of the weight forward, then tuck 'em away in the main panniers the rest of the time.
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  18. bigborett

    bigborett Hipster

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    3/4 as opposed to 4/5. You are lazy.
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  19. a2zworks

    a2zworks Want to be a better rider

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    Me too, I’m only doing from Poepple corner to Birdsville though my own.
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  20. gavineakins

    gavineakins Adventurer

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    G'Day gjws,

    Fuel is available at all those places + others ('cept b/w Birdsville & Mt Dare of course).
    No need to plan out fuel stops outside of the crossing itself. Just fill up when you can.

    15 litres sounds like a heap of water - I used 6 over two days & had some to spare. It comes down to how much physical exertion you need to make. Keep falling off, the effort, sweat & need for water goes up. Not trying to be a smart arse, just how it is.
    3kg on your back sounds like a fair bit, too. You'll be standing up & bouncing up/down nearly the whole time.
    I agree that you want to spread the water over several containers; I used three 2 litre Coke bottles.

    If you don't like riding on tar, you could leave your car at Lyndhurst - just spend a night & a meal at the pub & they're happy.
    On the down side, you don't then ride through the Flinders, which has it's own charms.

    I guess you know you're riding the harder to easier way? West to east means a heap of kms to use up fuel + water + food before getting to the harder dunes.

    Wishing you both the best - go for it, you'll have a blast.

    Cheers - Gavin
    #20
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